Sara, our Nutritionist, and Christian, the Vet, recently refreshed our Simply Gentle, Lean & Tasty and Joints & Coat recipes, making them even more nutritious whilst just as delicious! Plus, they introduced our NEW Healthy Heart recipe.
Sara’s ensured each recipe addresses a specific health issue, and Christian has given them the Vet-seal of approval. To understand a little more about the health issues behind the food, we chatted with them both.
If your dog has healthy joints and coat, they should appear happy and relaxed. In fact, it’s easy to take good coat, joint and skin health for granted because your four-legged friend will appear ‘normal’.
A healthy coat should be shiny (but not greasy), soft and fairly smooth – even on those breeds with short or wired hair. Their coat shouldn’t smell strong, feel dry or have lots of loose fur. Similarly, skin should be clear and free from any rough, red or inflamed patches.
A dog with healthy joints, bones and cartilage will have a good level of overall mobility, and be happy and comfortable walking, running and playing. However, as our dogs get older and normal wear-and-tear comes into play, it can be a little trickier to spot if there’s an issue.
“Healthy skin and glossy coats are important visible signs to owners that their pets are happy and healthy, and the key to this is good quality nutrition.”
Sara, our Nutritionist
Wear-and-tear on joints, bones and cartilage occurs naturally over a lifetime – much like it does with ourselves. Genetics can also play a part in joint health.
As with a lot of health issues, being overweight can also play a significant part in joint problems. The more weight your dog has to carry, the more there is bearing down on their joints, bones and cartilage, so it’s more likely they’ll develop an issue.
“Osteoarthritis is the most commonly diagnosed joint disease in veterinary medicine, with 20%* of the UK dog population developing it at some point in their lives, affecting dogs of any age.
Initial causes of osteoarthritis may be down to genetic predisposition, trauma, infection, obesity, extreme or insufficient physical exercise or ageing.”
Sara, our Nutritionist
Skin and coat health can be affected by factors such as unbalanced nutrition, allergies, obesity, age and environment.
If your dog’s skin is broken or damaged, bacteria and yeast that usually lives on your dog’s skin problem-free can get inside and cause an infection. Fleas and ticks can similarly cause itching and redness as well as problems with their fur, such as excessive shedding.
“Summertime always presents an increased level of skin problems in dogs due to allergies to pollen. Fleas, ticks and harvest mites are also more of an issue at this time of year.
If your pet is itchy, seek advice from your vet before your dog starts to damage their skin by scratching. Speak to them about effective flea and tick preventions too.”
Christian, the Vet
If your dog is normally active, happy and healthy, then spotting any issues with their joints or bones is quite easy which means you can get them the support they need quicker.
Signs of joint and bone issues include:
– Slipping while moving, especially if it happens a lot.
– Limping or stiffness while walking, running or getting up and down.
– Licking, chewing, biting or trying to soothe a particular area.
– Tiredness and irritability.
– A loss of appetite.
Fortunately, skin issues are also fairly simple to spot, making it easier to help your dog to feel comfortable and healthy again.
“Allergies cause a red, itchy rash usually on the feet, ears or tummy.
Fleas cause itching all over, particularly down the lower back, and specks of black dirt may be visible that go a red/brown colour when put on damp cotton wool.
Ticks can be seen as small grey/white parasites that latch onto the skin, typically over the head, ears, and lower front limbs, and grow as they feed by sucking blood for about 10 days before they drop off.
Harvest mites tend to cause irritation on the feet, ears and tummy and sometimes the mites can be seen as little orange/red dots on the skin in these areas.”
Christian, the Vet
As always, prevention is key to good health and wellness. For a healthy coat and skin, be sure to brush your four-legged friend regularly. This will get rid of any fur they may have shed, helping them to feel lighter and better able to regulate their body temperature. Similarly, baths using dog shampoo will help keep coats healthy and free from grease.
Be sure to protect against parasites as well, with regular flea and tick treatments. Your vet can advise the most suitable solution.
“Keep long coats clipped short over your dog’s feet and ears to help stop grass seeds getting stuck in their coat. Check their feet and ears when you get in from a walk and give a good wash of their feet, head and tummy after a walk in long grass to help remove harvest mite eggs.”
Christian, the Vet
When it comes to joint and bone health, lifestyle factors, such as exercise, and nutritional management are key.
Swimming is a great form of exercise that can be hugely beneficial, as it works the limbs but lightens the load on a dog’s joints. However, it may not be straightforward to get to a dog pool or safe body of water, so regular exercise that doesn’t tax the joints is just as good. Try cutting one long walk a day into two short ones to lessen the impact on your dog.
When playing, avoid throwing balls and toys too high for them to catch as this could cause big jumps and heavy, unnatural landings. If possible, playing with other dogs is a great option, as they can self-regulate in both speed and tempo as much as needed.
A well-balanced diet, containing beneficial ingredients and nutrients such as Omega 3 essential fatty acids, also helps to keep joints and coats healthy.
Our 100% complete and balanced Joints & Coat recipes have been specially created by our Nutritionist, Sara, and come recommended by Christian, the Vet.
They’re packed full of exactly the right amount of naturally active ingredients to help support and maintain your dog’s joints, skin and coat.
Find out more about Joints & Coat recipes here.
*Please see source here.
Sara, our Nutritionist, has 13 years’ experience as a Pet Nutritionist and a degree in Animal Science. Not to mention, she’s a proud pet parent to Mae the Cocker Spaniel.
Christian has been a Vet for over 30 years and has worked alongside the RSPCA and Police. He’s, of course, a fellow dog lover; his four-legged friend is a Labrador named Willow.
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